An Update on Better Worlds, Brighter Futures
While it appears this project has laid dormant for quite some time, there has always been a small flame of activity, keeping things warm and lit. Behind the scenes the site has added a few selections to its Kropotkin page, as well as added some older posts from previous versions of this blog project, with more of both to come.
The ebbs and flows in new content for this project are due to the time and struggle of its primary contributor. Often, the ambition of this project collides with constraints of time in work and life, as well as other difficulties. Over the past year, this project has relocated from southern Nevada to southern Arizona, and took time to get reestablished. Finally, however, things are stabilizing, time is materializing, and resources exist, even if modest.
Dealing with Quarantine
Personally, as for everyone, 2020 was a difficult and exhausting year–from financial precarity, to the large, nationwide systemic injustices, to protests, to a pandemic, to reactionary violence. During this time of extended quarantine (and the concomitant financial precarity for many in the working class) a few things have helped me stave off boredom and keep the spirits up. Among them:
Philosophically, the work of Erich Fromm I find very inspiring and personally helpful. His Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics and the humanism therein has been therapeutic. As well, Fromm’s larger project–of bringing together Marx and Freud while being critical of each, of social psychoanalysis, and of socialist humanism have great relevance for a dialectical social ecology, in addition to more libertarian and unorthodox forms of Marxism. There are several interviews and lectures with Fromm available on YouTube.
Musically, Elvis Costello and Steven Page have helped in keeping the spirits up. Costello, a master of the double-entendre, covers personal and political issues through a range of genres, from pop rock to proto-punk to country. While it’s a difficult choice, the Armed Forces and Imperial Bedroom albums are some of his best. Meanwhile, Page has been faithfully holding weekly concerts over Zoom from his Canadian basement. These “Live from Home” shows have been inexpensive and uplifting. While I don’t know if there is a direct connection, some of his stuff is reminiscent of Elvis Costello.
In politics, the online Anarchist Political Ecology (APE) discussion group has been enjoyable. Hosted by Yes We Cannibal, a group of good people that drift a bit too post-modern and abstract for my uncreative brain.
The Future of Better Worlds, Brighter Futures
This project has existed in some form for over a decade, and plans to keep going indefinitely. Going forward, Better Worlds, Brighter Futures will primarily attempt to define and move forward with a dialectical social ecology as its framework. The hope is that such a social ecology can take its place among a broad ecosocialist movement. Its goal is to analyze the present to inform practical real-world action. Its aim is to overcome inequality and disharmony in human society in order to reharmonize humanity with the larger natural world. As has long been stated here, the sufficiently ecological society is simultaneously the liberated, egalitarian human community.
Other potential developments include a podcast, even if irregular, and discussion/study/affinity groups, both virtually and in the real-world around subjects such as Erich Fromm, critical thinking, dialectics, Esperanto, and others. These of course depend on time and resource availability. Lastly, the social media accounts will be dusted off in hopes of finding a wider audience. If any of this resonates with anyone, please feel free to get in touch! Until next time–in love and struggle.